Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God,
for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.
Take with you words
and return to the LORD;
say to him,
“Take away all iniquity;
accept what is good,
and we will pay with bulls
the vows of our lips.
Assyria shall not save us;
we will not ride on horses;
and we will say no more, ‘Our God,’
to the work of our hands.
In you the orphan finds mercy.”
I will heal their apostasy;
I will love them freely,
for my anger has turned from them.
I will be like the dew to Israel;
he shall blossom like the lily;
he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon;
his shoots shall spread out;
his beauty shall be like the olive,
and his fragrance like Lebanon.
They shall return and dwell beneath my shadow;
they shall flourish like the grain;
they shall blossom like the vine;
their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.
O Ephraim, what have I to do with idols?
It is I who answer and look after you.
I am like an evergreen cypress;
from me comes your fruit.
Whoever is wise, let him understand these things;
whoever is discerning, let him know them;
for the ways of the LORD are right,
and the upright walk in them,
but transgressors stumble in them.
– Hosea 14:1-9
Doug Stuart writes:
The words of v. 9 serve as a reminder to readers of all generations that Hosea’s message continues as a message for them. The words are not simple directed to his contemporaries, thus being no more than arcane interest to us. Rather, the “ways of Yahweh” are a guide to the righteous, and a source of understanding to the intelligent of all successive periods. The reader has a basic choice to make. Will he/she choose to obey Yahweh’s law, the only “right” way? Or will he/she rebel against it? To do the latter is to disenfranchise oneself from the covenant blessings which attend Yahweh’s favor.
The poem does not attempt to delineate the ways in which Hosea’s message remains instructive beyond the fall of the North in 722 B.C. that is the proper task of the wise reader. But it does assert that Hosea faithfully represented Yahweh’s word and that the wise of any generation could only regard the words of the book as Yahweh’s own words. They are right words, a knowledge of which and an obedience to which, as is the case with the rest of Yahweh’s words, is essential to walking in a right direction in life.
MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 22
Q. 22. How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man?
A. Christ, the Son of God, became man, by taking to himself a true body and a reasonable soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the virgin Mary, and born of her, yet without sin.